Remember: it’s business, not personal

When the time comes to reflect on your performance this year, ask this question of yourself: “How many times did 'you' get in the way of making decisions?"

I did this over the holiday season and, on reflection, it's something that happens to me more often than I'd realised.

Here is an example. I was looking to meet with a client in the middle of last year, and discuss the need to review their contract and bring it into line with our revised agreement. Seems simple enough? Well, in the background, there were a number of factors that came in to play in other areas of the business, and I was simply too overwhelmed to deal with another round of negotiations. So the revision didn't happen. Not only did I not do what I should have done, I was the reason it didn't happen!

In reality, it was the idea of having to put myself through another issue that prevented me from completing an important part of my business.

Well, this is where I believe I found the solution in the holiday break. If you want to make everything personal you can – and I can empathise with people who do this – but the empowering approach is to focus on the business aspect. You then tailor your solution in a personal way, rather than personally being the solution. Look to build systems or procedures that improve your effectiveness. This allows you to use your personal skills in more lasting and productive ways.

One of the terms that’s in vogue at the moment is 'mindfulness'. It can seem a bit unclear, but what it really means is look after yourself and know where you are and how things affect you.

For those of you who share my habit of taking business personally, I believe the trick is to depersonalise business decisions. While I’m no expert in this field, it’s a goal I've set myself this year.

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Chris Mercer

Chris Mercer

As a chartered accountant, Chris Mercer has 20 years experience preparing, reviewing and planning financial accounts and budgets. Chris has specialised in the real estate industry since 2001. In this time, Chris designed the business model that has been adopted by hundreds of businesses in the industry. He has presented at conferences all over Australia and New Zealand. He believes in a hands-on approach to bookkeeping, and works closely with his team members wherever the client maybe located. His other interests include cricket, rugby union and horse racing.

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